This mom has her hands full with 3 babies begging for food.
“Are you my parent? Then feed me.” This one looks really hungry. He probably knows the parent has fish in his pouch and it just waiting for him to burp it back up. Yum!
“I need some ketchup for your head.” Two older babies playing.
You can see the veins in the soft pink pouch.
The parent looks tired.
More baby pelicans at the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary. I got there as the parents were about to start feeding the babies. These are all pictures of some of the first-born ones this spring. They are all around a month old. There are still a few more that had just been born while I was there. Now that they are bigger and moving around it was fun to watch them. Most of the time they were begging to be fed. A few times some of them seemed to be playing. They grow up so fast.
This is Stumpy (that’s what the volunteers call him). He guards the entrance to the sanctuary.
Stumpy lost a foot. He was treated here and released back in the wild but he still hangs around. He knows it’s the best restaurant in town for a pelican.
When I was leaving, I saw these two guys come in with an injured bird.
I did not find out what specifically happened. It looks like he had a severed wing. It could have been caught in fishing wire and when he tried to fly off it severed it? They must have called ahead because someone came out immediately to greet them and take the bird. Luckily for this bird, the guys saw the bird needed help and made the effort to save him. Then they drove the injured bird to the sanctuary from wherever they were when they found the bird. I’m glad the guys were looking out for it. I have a feeling this bird will be a permanent resident.
One of the workers at the sanctuary takes the bird, give him a quick look over and head into the hospital. This is a typical event for the team at the sanctuary. It’s weird to see them in action. Usually, you just see the birds in the rehab pens.
They look so funny. Almost looks like they have chicken skin.
The parents were busy feeding the babies.
One by one they all get fed.
This baby was a newborn. Still sitting under the parent. I caught a glimpse when Mom got up to stretch.
I took these two weeks ago so by now these babies are pretty big. I stopped by the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary hoping to find some pelican babies. I had heard a few had recently been born. There must have been at least 30 babies there. It will be buzzing with babies for a while. The parents, who have sustained injuries that prevent them from surviving in the wild, are kept here permanently. Some time this summer, the sanctuary will roll back the tops of the two pelican pens and the babies can fly away free. I’m sure a lot of them still hang around to get a free meal. Many of the pelicans that you see on the beach around that area were probably born at the sanctuary.